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Enon in Chesterfield County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

United States Colored Troops in the Army of the James

The Bermuda Hundred Campaign

 
 
United States Colored troops in the Army of the James Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2017
1. United States Colored troops in the Army of the James Marker
Inscription.  Thousands of African-American troops served in the Army of the James under the official designation of United States Colored Troops (USCT).

Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler was a strong proponent of the use of African-American troops and had more USCT regiments under his command than any other general. These USCT regiments were served by one of the hospital wards at Point of Rocks.

The USCT units in the Army of the James played a key role in the opening days of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign by seizing and holding strategic points on the James River at Wilson's Wharf, Fort Powhatan, and City Point. On May 24, 1864, the troops at Wilson's Wharf repulsed several attacks by Confederate cavalry.

The African-American troops under Butler’s command were among the first to assault the defenses of Petersburg on June 9 and June 15, and played a supporting role in the Battle of the Crater on July 30. In August of 1864, they were detailed to work on the Dutch Gap Canal while under fire from Confederate artillery.

The bloodiest day for the USCT regiments in the Army of the James occurred on September 29, 1864 at the
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Battle of New Market Heights. Fourteen black soldiers and two white officers were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions at New Market Heights.

The citation for corporal James Miles of the 36th USCT stated:
“Having had his arm mutilated, making immediate amputation necessary, he loaded his piece with one hand and urged his men forward; this within 30 yards of the enemy's works.”

At a time when the abilities of African-American troops were widely questioned in the military establishment, these men proved beyond any doubt that they were as brave and hard fighting as any other combat unit.

This sign was sponsored by James W. Davis, Fredericksburg, VA
 
Erected 2016 by Chesterfield County and the Blue & Gray Education Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansWar, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1864.
 
Location. 37° 19.083′ N, 77° 20.227′ W. Marker is in Enon, Virginia, in Chesterfield County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Enon Church Road (Virginia Route 746) and Point of Rocks Road, on the left when traveling west. The marker is located in Historic Point of Rocks Park (under development). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1005 Enon Church Rd, Chester VA 23836, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least
USCT's from the Army of the James at Aiken's Landing image. Click for full size.
circa 1865
2. USCT's from the Army of the James at Aiken's Landing
[Aiken's Landing, Va. African-American soldiers resting near the Aiken house, view looking toward the house] Library of Congress LC-B811-2608
8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. African-Americans in the Confederate War Effort (here, next to this marker); Point of Rocks Hospital Ward (a few steps from this marker); The Siege of Petersburg Begins (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Attacks on Petersburg (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Abraham Lincoln at Point of Rocks (about 400 feet away); Broadway Landing (about 400 feet away); Appomattox River Overlook (about 400 feet away); Nurses at Point of Rocks Hospital (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Enon.
 
Also see . . .  Bermuda Hundred Campaign Sign Project. Blue & Gray Education Society (Submitted on October 30, 2017.) 
 
USCT's at the Dutch Gap Canal image. Click for full size.
circa 1864
3. USCT's at the Dutch Gap Canal
[Butler's Dutch Gap Canal, James River, Virginia] Library of Congress LC-DIG-ppmsca-10894
USCT's at Fort Washington image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Morris Smith, circa 1863
4. USCT's at Fort Washington
[District of Columbia. Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Infantry, at Fort Lincoln] Library of Congress LC-B817-7890
United States Colored troops in the Army of the James Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2017
5. United States Colored troops in the Army of the James Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 652 times since then and 146 times this year. Last updated on September 1, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1. submitted on October 30, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   2, 3, 4. submitted on October 30, 2017.   5. submitted on October 30, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Jul. 20, 2024